Prepper’s Checklist: Get Ready While You Can

If you’re new to prepping, it can be a little overwhelming at first.  Where do you start?  If you do an Internet search of “what prepping items should I have” you’re setting yourself up for a LONG night or reading various checklists of what other's think is important.  A lot of what you’ll see will be repetitive, and there’s a good chance you’ll see some items on a list or two that you would never have thought of.

Here’s the thing to remember:  Prepping isn’t something that happens in one sitting.  It’s an ongoing process, and part of that process is keeping lists of needed gear and supplies, as you’ll always be able to find new additions.

With that said, what follows is a pretty basic list to get you started.  IT’S BY NO MEANS AN ALL-INCLUSIVE CHECKLIST!  So take it slow, pick up what you can when you can, and in no time you’ll have a good stock of survival material to get you and your family through whatever crisis comes your way.


Storage Solutions:  Mylar bags and 5-gallon buckets (food grade) are your best options.

Spices:  Most will keep for quite some time.  Add a storage of sugar, baking powder/soda and you should be set for a while.

Starches:  Use your Mylar bags and buckets to store rice, beans, oats, wheat, flour, pasta and powdered dry milk.

Peanut Butter:  This is a staple in the prepper’s pantry.  Be aware of peanut allergies, though!

Energy Bars:  Shop around for options with the longest shelf life.  They don’t always taste the best, but they can literally be a life saver when it’s the last thing you’ve got in your bug out bag.

Coffee:  There are options out there with very long shelf lives, and nothing makes a survival situation easier to handle than a hot cup of joe.  Plus, coffee can be a bartering option should the survival situation render traditional money useless.

Canned Goods:  This is an obvious one that should be on your prepper checklist. Pack whatever you can that's light. Personal preference rules here, but try to mix it up.  Keep a good stock of soups, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes--you get the drift.  Remember to set a reminder on your phone to rotate them out once a month and use up anything that’s approaching its expiration date.  Then it’s just as simple as replacing whatever you use.

Pet Food:  Don’t forget about Rover.  A good guard dog is invaluable in a survival situation.  Keep him in good working order.

Baby Food:  Don’t forget about Junior, either.  (Keep a stock of diapers and other supplies too!)

Camp Stove and Fuel:  There’s not much you CAN’T cook with a good two-burner camp stove.

Cookware:  Because it’s hard to make coq au vin in an old soup can.


Storage Solutions:  Pick up a Water BoB, it’ll give you 100 gallons for every bathtub you’ve got in the house.  Also, research the construction of rain barrels or purchase pre-made models.

Water Filter:  Add a good water filtering system to round out your kit. 

Medical Supplies

Hydrogen Peroxide: For cleaning wounds.

Antiseptics:  See if you can buy in bulk packages for easy storage.

Bandages:  Buy an assortment, from Band-Aids to major trauma pads.  You can’t have too many.

Burn Kit:  There are plenty of options out there, but here’s a pretty simple one…. https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/H-4172/First-Aid/Uline-Burn-Kit-Single-Use?pricode=WY605&gadtype=pla&id=H-4172&gclid=COfwiK-5jdICFYZahgodthAEpQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

Medical Tape:  This has an infinite number of uses--medical and otherwise.

Shears:  For cutting tape, clothing, etc.

Splinting Material:  There are some really great premade splints on the market, and they’re very affordable.  Pick up a few in various sizes.

Surgical Masks:  Hopefully you’ll never have to actually use these to perform a surgery.  They’re a must have during the initial hours of certain disasters that could pollute the air.

Gloves:  Keep an assortment of sizes of Nitrile surgical gloves on hand.

Pain Killers:  Aspirin and anything stronger that you can get your hands on (legally).  Don’t forget to stock children’s options too.

Thermometer:  Go with a traditional mercury model.  Anything battery powered is prone to failure.

Blood Pressure Cuff and a Stethoscope:  Learn how to use both.

Allergy Meds:  Keep Benadryl on hand in cream and tablet form.

Suture Kit:  This is one you no prepper should forget to check off their checklist. You need this for seriously deep lacerations.  Practice on frozen turkeys before your next big Thanksgiving dinner!

Quick Clot:  This stuff can be a life saver.  Get a variety of quantities and stuff them in everyone’s bug out bags too.

Vitamins:  Nutrition is a challenge in survival situations.  A daily dose of multi-vitamin will keep you healthy.

Prescription Meds:  If you have advanced notice of a disaster, get to the pharmacy and stock up on as many prescription meds as you can.

Epi-Pens:  If you have someone in the family with severe allergies make sure you have plenty of Epi-pens on hand.

Bug Spray:  Because mosquitos suck--even in survival situations.

Chap Stick:  It not only will keep your lips from burning, but it can be a good fire starter in a pinch, too.

Sun Block:  Sunburns are miserable, especially in survival situations.

Antibiotics:  This is a big one that NEEDS to be on your prepper checklist.  Infections are a deadly threat when major medical assistance isn’t an option.  Get your hands on whatever options you can, and check out this herbal solution.

First Aid Manuals:  Keep an assortment of first aid manuals on hand.  Knowledge is power, and that’s never been truer than in an emergency situation.


Weapons:  You’ll need to protect your family and your assets.  Start with whatever your budget allows, but eventually work your way up to an arsenal of handguns, shotguns, assault rifles and hunting rifles.  Buy ammo for each on a consistent basis and budget for trips to the range to practice with them all.

Edged Weapons:  Knives and axes aren’t just tools.  They can be one hell of a deterrent for someone trying to take your stuff by force.

Non-Lethal Options:  Start with the firearms, but feel free to add an assortment of Tasers, pepper sprays and non-lethal ammunition to your collection.

Battery Powered Alarms and Security Cameras:  There are a ton of affordable home security options out there if you do a little research.  Simply adding a few alarmed door wedges around the house can do wonders for your peace of mind.

Barter Materials: You'll need these to trade with other preppers who forgot to put the essentials on their checklists.

Silver:  Stock up on Silver coins, as it may be the ONLY form of currency after an economic collapse.

Cash:  Keep a stash of cash on hand in your home, as you won’t be able to hit up an ATM in the event of a power crash.

Booze:  Sure, it can be a great method of coping with a lousy situation, but you can also use it to trade with others if cash has no value after a catastrophe.  Stock up on a few cases of the cheap stuff.

Cigarettes:  Even if you’re not a smoker, you can trade a cheap pack of Winstons for a lot of stuff in a survival situation.

Power and Lighting

Flashlights:  Keep a bunch on hand, along with batteries.

Lanterns:  Snag a few that run on camp fuel, but buy some of the cheap hurricane models too--they’ll run on several different types of fuel.

Generator:  If it’s in your budget, pick up a good Gennie.  Just remember that they make noise, and they’ll let potential looters know that you’ve probably got other stuff in the house worth taking.  Safely store fuel as well.

Fire Extinguishers:  Because if you have a mishap you’re probably not going to get the fire department to your home anytime soon in the event of a serious crisis.

Miscellaneous Items

Stocked Tool Kit

Shelters and Bug Out Bags

Radios:  Handheld, C.B., HAM

Hand Crank Emergency Radio

Copies Of Important Documents

Skills and Training:  Study and practice!

Hopefully, this list gives you a place to start in your prepping efforts, but remember--it’s an ongoing process.  Best of luck!